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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
Exit the Maze by Dr. Donna Marks is a non-fiction self-help book for those battling addiction, the ones who love them enough to help them overcome it, and the professionals brave enough to change their current method to one that actually works. Dr. Marks introduces a three-part sequence with four chapters per step. These fall under One Addiction, One Cause, and finally, One Cure. Within these parts, Dr. Marks delves into taking responsibility, the fallacy of current diagnostic techniques, how an addict becomes an addict, and the power of love in the exiting of an addiction maze, among others. Through experience, Dr. Marks is able to convey the wisdom behind the method and a long-term, sustainable road map to success.
There's a lot to be said about a medical professional with a degree in psychology, a doctorate in education, and perhaps the longest list of certifications I've ever seen, who is able to focus on the stigma of addiction and actually be proactive in doing something about it. I found the section on behavioral modifications and how on their own they don't work to be of particular interest in Exit the Maze, particularly having someone dear to me repeatedly fail at cognitive behavioral therapy. Another is the basic but somehow forgotten principle outlined by Dr. Donna Marks that utilizes not just the power of love, but the power of acceptance and the power of pain as the pivotal points in recovery and rehabilitation. “...at some point, your pain will become so great, it will crack open the shell that has kept you separated from the love inside you.” With the United States in a mass scale opioid crisis and little by way of mental health support to the population's most vulnerable, Exit the Maze should be required reading for those who are genuinely interested in rehabilitating those in need.